Clarita (Morguefile Photos)

For me it was important to find a type of workout I can do anywhere and which does not depend on trainers, facilities or complicated equipment. I wanted something I could do at home without needing to go to a gym. There are a lot of workouts available—the one that I decided to go for at the beginning was the Tracy Anderson method.

However, exercising at home has other challenges: too many distractions, an environment which is not very motivating and the lack of a support group. For me it was very important to find a workout which I enjoyed and which I would stick to. Getting started was very hard, and it took me months before I really stuck to it. I had to really make a decision and a commitment, and to be strict with myself to get over the first two weeks which were tedious and hard as I was quite unfit. I decided not to cheat myself by either skipping my exercise or slacking. What really got me motivated were the results which I started to see after only about ten days. It was amazing! I never thought I could have abs or arms like that. So I kept going. Then my friends started to notice the change in my shape and paying me compliments, which was also very motivating.  

Regular physical exercise is not only about looking good—it also has so many amazing health and wellbeing benefits. Exercise literally makes me happy. I really need to exercise for my mental wellbeing. What works with me 100%, when I feel a bit down, is a dance-based cardio workout. As little as 30 minutes of continuous dancing works like a miracle for me and it is very easily done at home.

Also, I like being fit and healthy for my daughter, Sara, who is four and full of energy—and doesn't care that I have decided to have her a bit later in my life.

We travelling spouses and families go through so many changes while moving from post to post: leaving the familiar for the unfamiliar. Some changes are amazing and exciting, and some not so much. I found that having an exercise routine is a way of bringing some stability to my life, as well as keeping me fit and healthy.


Helena Hilder